Thriving On Discomfort, Astia CEO Sharon Vosmek on VC Investing in Women-Led Companies, Eliminating Bias in Venture Capital Investing and More (#007)
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Sharon Vosmek (@Vosmek) is the CEO of Astia & Managing Partner of the Astia Fund ($100 million) and a founding member of Astia Angels. Astia is the pre-eminent organization working to ensure the success of high-growth start-ups founded and led by women. Sharon is well-known around the globe for her opinions, research, and commentary on the importance of women leadership being integral to innovation and high-performing entrepreneurial companies.
Her work began in the political sector, where she worked for US Senator Dennis DeConcini. She became very interested in global economics and women's economic participation, in particular, the policies and roadmaps that were available to ensure that women successfully participated in the economy. A chance meeting with the founder of Astia, Catherine Muther, at a dinner party paved the way for things to come and Sharon was appointed CEO of Astia in 2007. Under her leadership, Astia has grown from 20 individuals in Silicon Valley to a global community of more than 5,000 investors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders that make up its investment ecosystem today.
In this episode, Sharon goes in depth to describe the extent of the under-investment in women-led companies venture capital firms and cites a number of studies and some very interesting statistics on how much money seems to be left on the table by doing so. We discuss at length what she considers to be the shortcomings of the typical VC investment approach as well as race and gender bias in the VC investment community.
Show notes: https://sri360.com/podcast/sharon-vosmek
About the SRI 360° Podcast: The SRI 360° Podcast is focused exclusively on sustainable & responsible investing. In each episode, Scott Arnell interviews a world-class investor who is an accomplished practitioner from all asset classes. In my interviews, I cover everything from their early personal journeys—and what motivated and attracted them to commit their life energy to SRI—to insights on how they developed and executed their investment strategies and what challenges they face today. Each episode is a chance to go way below the surface with these impressive people and gain additional insights and useful lessons from professional investors.
- Connect with Sharon Vosmek: LinkedIN, Twitter
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- Food First
- Global Exchange
- Documentary ‘Something Ventured’
- Babson College research
- Portola Creek Capital
- Jennifer Mcfarlane
- Catherine Muther
- Professor Thomas Malone
- Anita Roddick
- Senator Dennis DeConcini
- Sandy Lerner
- Jim Clark
- John Doerr